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Don’t get burnt - check backyard burning rules

Monday 24 June 2019

As the weather cools, Council is reminding residents that open burning in residential areas, particularly of rubbish and green vegetation, is not permitted.

Council’s acting environmental services manager Nathan Ladmore says this includes burning dead and dry vegetation in incinerators and bonfires.

“Burning rubbish, leaf litter and other vegetation at residential premises can cause smoke, resulting in poor localised air quality, environmental nuisance and harm to human health,” he said.

“Smoke can have significant impacts on young people and the elderly, as well as people with pre-existing respiratory issues such as asthma.”

In NSW, backyard burning is regulated by the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010.

The Regulation does allow for some exemptions for small fires, including for cooking or recreational purposes, covering things like fire-pits, braziers, pizza ovens and barbecues.

Council also implements its own Clean Air Policy to protect the environment and health and amenity of residents and visitors by outlining conditions where burning can take place.

“Burning vegetation is restricted to areas that are a safe distance away from major roads, infrastructure, and residential areas,” Mr Ladmore said.

“At least 24 hours before burning, you must notify the NSW RFS Fire Control Centre and adjoining neighbours of your intention to burn.”

Council officers and the RFS can undertake action for established breaches of the Regulation, including on-the-spot fines.

Approval to burn dead and dry vegetation can be given automatically via self-assessment of the conditions outlined in Council’s Clean Air Policy. More information, including a backyard burning fact sheet, is on our Air Quality web page, or phone Council on 4474 1000.